I had a great combination last summer. One of the best, I should say. The 4F: Family, Friends, Food, and Fashion :)
I managed to get an internship at Carmanita studio, and learned some of the best things I've learnt so far. It was a great feeling to be part of the fashion industry in Indonesia, even if just for 5 weeks. But still, being an intern at a fashion workshop which mostly focusing on fabrics made me appreciate it even more. I definitely learnt a lot about fabric finishings; from attaching tiny beads onto silk scarves, different tie-dye preparations, draping, and the highlight would be batik.
"Batik is not the motif, it's the technique"
That is a quote from Carmanita herself to me, and I completely agree. I saw it as a reminder for everyone about what batik really is. Since it has been a trend in Indonesia for a few years now but it's starting to lose its value - because the mass produced "batiks" are actually (poorly made) digital prints, but people still refer them as batik which disappoints me a lot.
It is such a modest atmosphere working in the studio. A simple house in a small neighbourhood in the south of Jakarta, and unfortunately in an area that gets flooded a lot (I've heard some really sad stories about it :( ) - I find it very very inspiring, because they come up with a great range of culturally rich collections that sells millions of Rupiah (hundreds of $). Being part of the working environment is like being a part of a little family full of talented and dedicated, and inspiring people, some of them have worked there for 20 years or so, and they still get along well with the younger "newcomers".
I really hope for the best for Carmanita team.
An application of what Ibu Carmanita said about batik (that it is the technique, not the motif), I created an Escher-inspired print using the traditional batik pipe (canting) on one half of the fabric, and rough stripes using flat-wide brush. Their method of free-draping have also inspired me for creating this top.